Halloween Heart by Rusty Fischer

Gemma knows her Halloween Ghost Tour is going to be interesting when the only person who shows up for the tour is a very attractive man named Greg who doesn’t have anything else to do that night. But it all gets worse as Gemma gives Greg a tour in the haunted house and she sees new traps and surprises around the house that weren’t there the night before, and even Greg is acting strangely. As the night wears on, Gemma starts to think that may be getting more than she bargained for when she started this job.

I was pretty excited to pick up the short story,¬†Halloween Heart¬†the other day, figuring it would be perfect for some pre-Halloween candy warm-up. However, I was thoroughly disappointed. The writing wasn’t terrible, aside from the author’s tendencies to over-describe the character’s motions and voice pitch. I was actually enjoying it until the ending when there wasn’t anything more than a slight hint of sexual tension. Obviously I wasn’t expecting a full-out sex scene with Gemma on the job and them having just met, but I thought Greg was on this tour because he liked her, and not because he wanted to hire her. After all, he said he saw her walking down the street in her costume and was curious about the tour and when Gemma asked him if he took the tour to get scared out of his wits, he blushed and said, “partly”. It seems like he was attracted to her, right? It turns out he’s the owner of an entertainment company and wanted to hire her. Romance is kept to a minimum even though there’s a possibility of it in the future. I know this is just a short story, but I don’t feel like this was really the love story so much as the prequel to the love story. Because of that, I can’t really recommend it to anyone except someone who wants to finish a story in one sitting and is in a festive mood. For myself, it looks like I’m going to be sticking to ghost stories and horror during the October season.